At least 23 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Pakistan army base on Tuesday, an official said in an attack claimed by militants affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban.
The early-morning attack targeted a base in Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghan border, according to a local official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Many of them were killed while they were sleeping and in civilian clothes so we are still determining if they are all military personnel,” the official added.
An additional 27 people were wounded when the explosive-laden suicide vehicle detonated at a school building that had been commandeered as a makeshift military base, he said.
Three rooms had collapsed and efforts were underway to pull bodies from the ruins, with fears the toll could rise further still, he added.
Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, a new group affiliated with the Pakistan Taliban — said the assault began around 2:30 am (2130 GMT) with a “martyrdom attack” by one fighter before others stormed the compound.
Pakistan’s army has not yet commented on the incident.
Pakistan has witnessed a dramatic spike in militant attacks, mainly in its border regions with Afghanistan, since the Taliban returned to power there in 2021.